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While I am writing this editorial for the January/February 2010 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics ( TVCG), I am attending the IEEE VisWeek 2009 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and I am delighted to see hundreds of people browsing through the November/December 2009 issue of TVCG and absorbing this unique collection of 91 papers reporting on the latest and best research results in visualization. However, differently from last year, most attendees are viewing the content on their laptops because the conference decided to switch from printed copies of the proceedings to digital documents on memory sticks as the default means of distribution for obvious cost reasons. Like most other academic journals, TVCG is facing the challenge of increasing production and distribution costs and declining numbers of personal print subscriptions. Recently, the IEEE Computer Society Transactions Operation Committee decided to migrate all publications away from primary print by 2015 and TVCG will be among the first to make this transition toward an online-mostly publication model, probably starting in 2011. While many details of this process still have to be discussed and decided, I am convinced that it will be beneficial for the long-term success of TVCG and I will keep the readers of TVCG informed as we move along this path.
As the year 2009 is almost over, I am happy to report that the journal continues to be in an excellent state as we move into the 16th year of its existence. One of the most visible indicators for a positive development is a significant increase in the impact factor as published by Thomson Reuters. It rose from 1.6 in 2007 to 2.44 in 2008, ranking TVCG as one of the top-10 computer science/software engineering titles. While some other journals related to computer graphics also benefited from the increased number of journals and conference proceedings which contribute to the 2008 citation count, TVCG’s impact factor growth can also be related to the additional high quality material we include from the IEEE Visualization and Information Visualization Conferences and from inviting the best papers of important conferences and symposia in our field to submit extended versions which get published in special sections of TVCG after another rigorous reviewing process.
Another indicator for the good standing of the journal is the number of submissions. I am happy to report that TVCG received more regular submissions in the first three quarters of 2009 than the 235 manuscripts that were submitted in the entire year 2006, which was the top year so far. Also, since the submissions to the 2009 Visualization and Information Visualization Conferences went up to 344, we clearly expect a record year of significantly more papers eventually accepted from all manuscripts submitted in 2009 than the 155 papers that were published in all six 2009 issues. TVCG continues to offer authors a remarkably fast processing of submitted manuscripts: The average time from submission to first decision is less than three months and the average time from submission to publication as a preprint in the digital library is seven months.
Looking forward into 2010, I hope that we can continue this positive development and attract even more readers and authors to TVCG. I encourage the visualization and computer graphics community to submit their latest and best research results to TVCG and experience a high-standard and timely reviewing process. I would like to thank the authors, reviewers, editors, and transactions staff who all have contributed to the success and growth of TVCG during 2009. I would especially like to thank the subscribers of this journal for their continued interest and support and I urge you to retain your personal subscription even when the journal moves to a mostly online publication model. Let me remind you that despite the enormous contributions of volunteers to the entire reviewing process, the production of a high-quality IEEE journal—even if not printed—cannot be done without professional staff. Please share with me your ideas for even better serving our subscribers in an electronic publishing age.